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Tinea fungus on feet.

Tinea fungus on feet.
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Tinea

What is tinea?

Tinea is a common skin condition caused by a fungal infection. The fungus thrives best in warm moist environments, so areas like the feet ('athletes foot'), the groin ('jock itch'), the scalp and body (such as under the breasts) and sometimes the toe or finger nails are ideal places for the fungus to grow.

Tinea symptoms

Symptoms can include a red flaky rash that can crack split and peel, blistering and itching.

Sometimes the rash appears in a circular ring pattern which is called ‘ringworm’ and can be a little misleading because there is no worm involved.

If tinea forms in the nails they may develop a yellow or white discolouration. If tinea forms on the scalp, bald spots may occur.

Types of tinea

Tinea infections can affect many areas of the skin and depending on their location and fungal type, the infection has different names:

  • Athlete's foot (tinea pedis): fungal infection of the skin on the feet.
  • Ringworm of the scalp (tinea capitis): fungal infection that develops on the head.
  • Ringworm of the body (tinea corporis): fungal infection of the body that develops on the top layer of the skin.
  • Jock itch (tinea cruris): a rash in the moist, warm areas of the groin.
  • Nail infection (onychomycosis): a fungal infection of the toe or finger nails.

Most tinea infections are mild and can affect anybody. Young people and men tend to be affected more by tinea on the foot ('athletes foot'). In addition, people who play a lot of sport, spend time in communal changing rooms and showers, or wear trainers (sneakers) are more likely to be affected.

Tinea treatments

The infected area should be kept clean and dry as the fungi prefer to grow in moist, warm conditions.

Tinea is treated with antifungal medicines and generally clears up within four weeks.You can purchase these creams from any pharmacy and some supermarkets. Follow the application instructions on the package carefully and speak to your pharmacist if you have questions.

Although rare, tinea can spread to other areas of the body, so good personal hygiene is important to prevent the infection spreading. Go to this page for more information about tinea treatments and prevention.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your tinea, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Sources:

Patient (Dermatophytosis (Tinea Infections))

Last reviewed: August 2017

Need more information?

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Tinea - Farmer Health | Farmer Health

Tips for Tinea Tinea is a contagious fungal skin infection. Commonly affected areas include the feet (athletes foot), groin (jock itch), scalp and beneath the breasts. Tinea can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or indirectly. It is also known as...

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Tinea is contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or indirectly through towels, clothes or floors.

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Tinea capitis - ACD

Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp and hair. It most commonly affects children between three to seven years of age but adults can also be affected.

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Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Tinea

Tinea is a fungus which causes infections of the skin and scalp. It causes a rash which is usually called 'ringworm' if it is on the head or body, 'athlete's foot' if it is between the toes or 'jock itch' if it is in the groin.

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Lamisil Tablets | myVMC

Lamisil Tablets are used to treat fungal nail infections and tinea. They contain terbinafine hydrochloride an antifungal agents for dermatophytes.

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Athlete's foot - myDr.com.au

Athlete's foot is a fungal skin infection that is also known as tinea pedis. It commonly causes skin itch, especially between the toes.

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Kids' Health - Topics - Fungal infections - watch out for tinea!

Some germs love to get into areas of your body where it is warm and moist. They move in, get together and start growing and spreading. Fungal diseases are particularly keen on finding such places.

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Lamisil DermGel | myVMC

Lamisil Dermgel is an anti-fungal gel containing terbinafine. It is used to treat fungal skin infection of dermatophytes or tinea.

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Ringworm treatment & symptoms: children | Raising Children Network

Ringworm is a common fungal skin infection, which children might get from pets, soil or other people. Read about ringworm symptoms and ringworm treatment.

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Lamisil Cream | myVMC

Lamilsil is an anti-fungal cream containing terbinafine hydrochloride. It is used to treat ring worm caused by dermatophytes such as Trichophyton.

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